Industry showcase

Mark Spevick - Head of 3D

This month Escape’s own Mark Spevick, Head of 3D weighs up the Arnold and Redshift insights from The Mill and Glassworks and talks rendering in education. 

How has Escape Studios’ use of rendering software developed over the years?

Originally our courses were built round one particular renderer e.g.
Renderman, mainly due to the fast software was so expensive. As a result both studios and teaching facilities alike would only use one renderer in order to produce their work. Now we ensure students have access to several different software such as Arnold, Redshift and VRay.

Why do you choose to teach all the different rendering software?

For several reasons. It’s vital for us to expose our students to as many different software as those they could encounter in industry. Over the years these software matured making them cheaper and easier to operate, so it would definitely be a waste for us not to exploit the new found availability. Also during their maturity all the renderers have refined their software to consumer wants and needs making each software can be very similar in some ways – an element that would be a waste not to take advantage of.

How does the Escape course approach benefit the students?

We have extremely good relationships with industry professionals and studios and work very closely with industry to build our course. Through our relationships we hear from the horse's mouth exactly what they need from artist starting out in the industry and how their processes are changing as and when it happens. With multiple course types from postgraduate and undergraduate to our short courses and taster days, we have more flexibility in rolling out the tweaks to courses and receiving feed back from industry. 

Considering their differences, where do you see Redshift and Arnold going in future? Do you think one software will become particularly prominent in creative studios?

I don't think one will become more prominent than another as the choice of renderer for each facility comes down to what pipeline they are most comfortable with, although I will be keeping my eye on Redshift. We know Arnold is a success, it has matured during its initial five years with Sony, although Redshift is hot on its heels. The speed and price of Redshift alone is a plus and it’s not far behind the likes of Arnold, although it still needs to iron our a few kinks.